Are Chemical Peels Safe?

chemical peel


A chemical peel is used to give the skin a healthier and more youthful appearance. But because of the term “chemical”, many patients first ask about the safety. We’re here to answer that question and explain exactly what chemical peels do for skin rejuvenation.

Chemical Peel Procedure

A chemical exfoliation is applied to remove any deadened cells of the face, while bringing a new layer of skin to the surface. There are different peels that target different skin types. A series of peels can correct hyperpigmentation, sun damage, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles. People who are treated with peels generally keep up with them to maintain proper skin turn over. It’s best to start with a series of 2-6 peels which take approximately 45 minutes in-office.

Types of Chemical Peels

There are three different types of chemical peels, depending what results you are trying reach differs them individually. The superficial peel uses a mild acid to address the outer layer for exfoliation. It penetrates the skin of the face, neck, chest, or hands to improve texture and discoloration. The second peel you can use to treat your skin is a medium peel which has glycolic or trichloroacetic acid that penetrates not only the outer layer but also the middle layers of the skin. The goal for this peel is to remove damaged skin cells, address fine lines, shallow scars, freckles, discoloration and age spots. The most invasive deep peel is a tricholoracetic acid to phenol (TCA) that removes skin cells that are the most damaged that the other peels can’t address. The patient will see a great result from any of the peels but the most from the deepest peel.

Chemical Peel Safety

Chemical peels are completely safe when performed correctly by a licensed professional with experience. Lighter peels are performed by licensed estheticians only who have formal training in skin resurfacing. Peels that go deeper into the skin (TCA) can only be performed by a medical doctor. Dr. Thompson will do TCA peels for certain areas of the face or may recommend his full face CO2 laser resurfacing treatment.

That being said, some patients are not good candidates for a chemical peel. Patients who have been on Accutane in the passed 6 months, using skin care products that contain any acid or acid based products within 24-48 hours, nursing or pregnant, have skin condition such as dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema would not qualify. And while a chemical peels are considered safe and non-invasive, there are always risks to any procedure or treatment you have done. Such risks can include chemical burns, scarring, permanent dark spots etc. Those risks are greatly minimized with the right skin professional.

What To Expect

Before treatment you should always ask the physician or skin care specialist about the best recommendations for your skin type to avoid the negative possibilities. As long as you follow the safety precaution to avoid the risks you will get the result you were aiming for. There will be mild redness and swelling that will gradually go down as your skin heals the way it should and over the course of the next few days your skin will look and feel rejuvenated and fresh.

For more information on the types of chemical peels offered at Utah Facial Plastics and pricing, visit our chemical peel page or call (801)776-2220.

Written by Roxy, Medical Assistant

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